Ahoy! That’s the pirate way of saying hello. My five year old compared her experience on the Pirates on the Potomac Cruise to that of the cartoon, Jake and the Pirates. While my daughter isn’t trying to be like the great Irish pirate, Grace O’Malley, she does understand that girls are just as good as boys at being excellent, swashbuckling pirates.
There are three rules to being a pirate.
Rule number one: always listen to the captain. Captain Mark, along with pirate Captains Snarl and Blood, made sure we sat safely aboard the Admiral Tilp vessel. The two level boat seats 50 passengers and has two tiny bathrooms. Traveling at 4 knots which is roughly 10 mph, life jackets were not required, but stored beneath the seats just in case. For thirsty castaways, soda, water and alcoholic beverages may be purchased for $2 to $4. Pirate music played as we followed the map in search of buried treasure. “Defend the ship,” Captain Blood said as he handed the children foam swords to borrow.
Rule number 2: always be good to your shipmates. Captain Snarl is positioned on the main level while Captain Blood remains on the second level teaching kids the pirate way. Pirate Snarl told us that you don’t have to be mean to people, just let them think you are. After all, you don’t want your shipmates to take your treasure or throw you over the starboard. We practiced our arghs and yelled to passing boats, “Ahoy, we be Potomac Pirates yar!” The reaction was quite funny.
Rule number 3: Always be getting the treasure. What a treasure we found. Adults will find treasure in the history of Alexandria’s seaport. Sights include the Jones Point Lighthouse, the only river lighthouse left in Virginia and the oldest in the United States, the Naval Research Lab, Obelisk and more. While the sewage plant was hardly treasure, we did spot an osprey nest in the middle of the Potomac River. The kids receive a bag of pirate loot filled with a bandana, eye patch, mini telescope, skull ring, “swab the deck” bracelet, necklace, stickers, activity book and a gold coin.
After we docked, families can pose for a picture with Captain Snarl. The forty minute ride was relaxing and enjoyable for all. Due to the popularity, buy your tickets in advance online. You can also purchase tickets at the dock. Roundtrip fare is $15 for adults and $9 for children ages 2 to 11. The cruise sets sail weekends from May 25 to June 10, 2012. From June 15 to September 3, the boat sails Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Departure times are at 11 a.m. and 12 p.m.
If your child wants to be the next Captain Jack Sparrow, join the adventures aboard the Pirates of the Potomac cruise. Make it an afternoon and stroll through the many restaurants and shops in Old Town, Alexandria.